Learn by your mistakes may be a cliché but for several months now this seems to be lather-rinse-repeat for me, thus I had very little work to show here. But wait! Can’t I share my big old eff-ups and smaller fails as well as my victories? It is after all my blog/my rules, and as most of the latter part of 2016 was lost to my injured wrist and all I really did was, excuse the pun, keep my hand in. Sometimes it feels hard to pick yourself up and dust yourself down again and again, but I’m never likely to put my cameras away and say “well Suze, there you go. You tried to take some good pictures but it was just too hard so don’t bother.” Instead I’ll keep on taking these blunders as wee signposts, directing my path while keeping me motivated and chipper. I feel OK about that and I should see them as learning curves, experiments, and an exploration into the possibilities of analogue photography, rather than feel ashamed. It is what it is.
That’s the good thing about beginning something from scratch. It may get ugly at times, it may be fruitful, or we may just look like a complete wally, so I think I shall deploy one of my favourite phrases for times like these. And I gift it to you for when you too are overwhelmed, confused or just plain discouraged.
START WHERE YOU ARE.
Therefore, most of the notes stuffed in a google drive folder imaginatively titled ‘blogpost topics’ from last year will probably stay unwritten or unpublished as I begin from here. A new departure point and an unknown destination. Sounds kind of intriguing, yes?
The point of all this is to swallow my pride and show you this pinhole photograph. I was 750m up in the Pyrenees last weekend and there was a gale battering the land. From the safety of indoors I watched the pine trees pitching and lurching under the wind’s force as the solid trunks stayed rigid while the branches flail and thrash like the whomping willow. I togged up and ventured out under a grey, menacing sky and a whirl of leaves, it all looked so moody and perfect. 30 seconds should do it I thought as I made a back of a napkin calculation.
So yes, in my mind they were going to be fabulous – harnessing that gale, the angry sky and the actual experience, but in the end it was just disappointment. On the other hand I’ve learnt a few things, such as practice, practice, practice. I will only be able to get good pinhole pictures by taking many, many more. It’s the only way to learn correct exposures, to read how the light and shadow will be effected and composition when you have a very wide angle plane and no viewfinder.
And a big lesson is sturdy tripods are a must in windstorms. Just try keeping a lightweight aluminium tripod stead for 30 seconds in a 90kmh headwind.
Despite coming to nothing I wrote up a few notes to refer back to and while doing so I noticed some little things that were good. For instance I really like the composition; and it actually does transport me back to that windy mountain and feeling cold and battered. And the fact that it was spontaneous, I looked out of the window and wanted to BE there. No forward planning or scoping out, I had no idea if it would work. and that my friend, is the secret sauce of creativity – a little question in your mind that you can’t ignore. What if I…? Curiosity fuels our minds and imagination, and before long it’s piqued enough to take you down all sorts of paths where everything is potentially possible.